<< Google image search and page preview mode are omens to the beginning of the end, trust me.
You can see the beginnings of Google's ruin already, which was inevitable. Nobody can ever leave things alone even though they are working just fine. Someone always has to try to fix things when they're not broken. Once the process begins, it never ends, and it's begun at Google...
Does Google think it needs to add these dreadful features because Bing is breathing down its neck? It must, since the changes to the image page are right out of Bing. Curiously, the old MSN Live Search did it better than Bing. Meanwhile Yahoo, which licenses the Bing engine, has maintained more practical image results and is now superior to both Google and Bing. Go figure!
It doesn't take a genius to see that Google is beginning to make huge judgment errors. And I can assure you, this image fiasco isn't a mere or minor diversion. It's a sign of bad things to come. An omen. >>
All large companies fall from their pedestal eventually, as happened to Ford, Chrysler, IBM, ICL, Novell, Sun, DEC, and is now happening to Microsoft.
> Nobody can ever leave things alone even though they are
> working just fine
Things may have been working "just fine" for our demographic, but I think the latest changes are improvements for the masses. So, although I agree with your premise that Google's ruin is inevitable, I don't see any sign of it happening any time soon.
It won't happen soon. But it will, for sure.
Probably not because of this drifts, but because of technology and needs moving onto more relevant sources of information: social networks and other kind of streams.
Indeed, it's a very interesting shift. At first we didn't have indexed the web. Then search engines came in, and we had access to every corner of the internet. And now we need more: we have the chance to rely on people we know or trust (or on people known or trusted by our contacts) and consume information through this "fast-food network".
It is going to be the end of Google, yes. But we are just at the beginning of the end. They will be around for a good time more.
But Facebook is reaching first place quickly, and they will strike hard next week with the announcement of email service.
In my opinion, Google needs to make a bold move and go all-in with Buzz, implementing it right into search results pages, while making Buzz behave like a really powerful social network.
What they did pushing it into Gmail was a dumb move. Facebook is currently on everybody's mail, every day, and people actually care about what happens there. But they achieved this by being useful. Google did that once too, but now they think users are "their personal army" and they can make something succeed just because they have the userbase.
Winds of change around here! For sure.
Well, for the new Google Image Search result page, I think it's a bit weird at first. But after using it a few times, I found it works better as I no longer need to click on the "Next Page" button every 10 seconds (during which I view those irrelevant images).